tv Presidential Debate CBS October 16, 2012 6:00pm-8:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs >> let's get to the bottom line: for me this is about jobs. >> the question here to want is not where we've been but where we're going. >> obamacare is on my list. i apologize, mr. president. i use that term with all respect. >> i like it. >> good. so i'll get rid of that. >> the reason that governor romney is keeping all these plans secret because they're too good? >> mr. president you're entitled to your own airplane and your own house but not to your own facts. >> campaign 2012, a presidential debate. from hempstead, new york, here is scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. this is the second of three debates between the democratic incumbent, barack obama, and the republican challenger mitt romney. former president george h.w. bush once described these faceoffs as "tension city." and the pressure will be on tonight because the race is close and the election just
three weeks away. the obama campaign says the president will be more energetic than in the first debate. that debate changed the dynamic of the race. the format tonight has its roots in a democratic institution that dates back to colonial america: the new england town meeting. the candidates will be surrounded by 82 uncommitted new york voters chosen at random. some of whom will be asking their own questions. this is the last debate to include the economy. next week it's all foreign policy. the moderator tonight is candy crowley of cnn. >> crowley: good evening from hofstra university in hempstead, new york, i'm candy crowley from cnn's "state of the union." here here for the second presidential debate, a town hall sponsored by the commission on presidential debates. the gallup organization chose 82 uncommitted voters from the new york area. their questions will drive the night. my goal is to give the conversation direction and to
ensuring questions get answered. the questions are known to me and my team only. neither the commission nor the candidates have seen them. i hope to get to as many questions as possible and, because i am the optimistic sort, i'm sure the candidates will oblige by keeping their answers concise and on point. each candidate has as much as two minutes to respond to a common question and there will be a two-minute follow-up. the audience in the hall has agreed to be polite and attentive, no cheering or booing or outbursts of any sort. we will set aside that agreement just this once, to welcome president barack obama and governor romney. (applause) (applause)
>> crowley: gentlemen, thank you both for joining us here tonight. we have a lot of folks who have been waiting all day to talk to you so i want to get right to it. governor romney, as you know, you won the coin toss so the first question will go to you and i want to turn to a first-time voter. jeremy epstein, who has a question for you. >> mr. president, governor romney, as a 20-year-old college student all i hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when i graduate i will have little chance to get employment. what can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that i will be able to sufficiently support myself after i graduate? >> thank you, jeremy, i tipreciate your question and thank you for being here this evening and to all of those that have come. thank you for your time. thank you to hofstra university and to candy crowley for organizing and leading this event. thank you, mr. president, also, for being part of this debate. your question is one that's
being asked by college kids all over this country. as in pennsylvania with someone who just graduated. this was in >> ifill: and -- philadelphia and she said "i can't get a job, i have three part time jobs, just enough to pay for food and my apartment. i can't pay back my student loans. so we have to make it easier for kids to afford college and when they get out of college there's a job. when i was governor of massachusetts, to get a high school degree you had to pass an exam. if you graduated in the top quarter of your class we gave you a john and abigail adams scholarship. four years tuition free to the college of your choice in massachusetts that's a public institution. i want to make sure we keep our pell grant program growing. we're also going to have our loan program so that people are able to afford school. but the key thing is to make sure you can get a job when you get out of school. and what's happened over the last four years has been very, very hard for america's young people. i want you to be able to get a
job. i know what it takes to get this economy going. with half of college kids graduating this year without a college -- excuse me, without a job, and without a college-level job, that's just unacceptable. like wise you've got more and more debt on your back. so more debt and less jobs. i'm going to change that. i know what it takes to create good job again. i know what it takes to make sure that you have the kind of rve.rtunity you deserve. and kids across this country are going to recognize we're bringing back an economy. it's not going to be like the last four years. the middle-class has been crushed over the last four years. and jobs have been too scarce. i know what it takes to bring them back and i'm going to do that and make sure when you graduate -- when do you graduate? 2014? when you come out in 2014, i presume i'm going to be president, i'm going to make sure you get a job. thanks, jeremy, you bet. >> crowley: mr. president? >> jeremy, first of all, your future is bright and the fact that you're making an investment in higher education is critical. not just to you but to the entire nation.
now the most important thing we can do is to make sure that we are creating jobs in this country but not just jobs, good-paying jobs, ones that can support a family. and what i want to do is build on the five million jobs we've created in the last 30 months in the private sector alone and there are a bunch of things we can do to make sure your future is bright. number one: i want to build manufacturing jobs in this country again. when governor romney said we should let detroit go bankrupt i said "we're going to bet on american workers and american auto industry and it's come surging back." i want i want to do that in industries not just in detroit ryt all across the country. that means we change our tax code so we're giving incentives to companies investing here in the united states and creating jobs here. it also means we're helping them and small businesses to export all around the world to new markets. number two: we've got to make sure that we have the best education system in the world. and the fact that you're going
to college is great. but i want everybody to get a great education. we worked hard to make sure that student loans are available for folks like you, but i also want to make sure that community colleges are offering slots for workers to get retrained for the jobs that are out there right now and the jobs of the future. number three: we've got to control our own energy. not only oil and natural gas-- which we've been investing in-- but also we've got to make sure we're building the energy source of the future. not just thinking about next year, but ten years from now, 20 years from now. that's why we've invested in solar and wind and biofuels. energy efficient cars. we've got to reduce our deficit but we have to do in the a balanced way. asking the wealthy to pay a little bit more along with cuts so we can invest in education like yours. and let's take the money we've been spending on war over the last decade to rebuild america. roads, bridges, schools. we do those things, not only is your future going to be bright but america's future is going to be bright as well. >> crowley: let me ask you for
a more immediate answer, beginning with mr. romney. just quickly, what can you do -- we're looking at a situation where 40% of the unemployed have been unemployed for six months or more. they don't have the two years that jeremy has. what about those long-term unemployed who need a job right now? >> well, what you're seeing in this country is 23 million people struggling to find a job. and a lot of them, as you say, candy, have been out of work for a long, long, long time. the president's policies have been exercised over the last four years and they haven't put americans back to work. we have fewer people working today than we had when the president took office. the unemployment rate was 7.8% when he took office. it's 7.8% now. but if you calculated that unemployment rate taking back the people who dropped out of the work force it would be 10.7%. we have not made the progress we need to make to put people back to work. that's why i put out a five-point plan that gets america 12 million new jobs in
four years and a rising take-home pay. it will help jeremy get a job when he comes out of school, it's going to help people across the country that are unemployed right now. one thing that the president said which i want to make sure that we understand, he said that i said we should take detroit bankrupt. and that's right. my plan was to have the company go through bankruptcy like 7-eleven did and macy's and continental airlines and come out stronger. and i know he keeps saying "you wanted to take detroit bankrupt." well, the president took detroit bankrupt. you took general motors bankrupt, you took chrysler bankrupt. so when you say i wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did. and i think it's important to know that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet so they can start hiring more people. that was precisely what i recommended and ultimately what happened. >> crowley: let me give the president a chance. go ahead. >> candy, what governor romney said just isn't true. he wanted to take them into
bankruptcy without providing them any way to stay open. and we would have lost a million jobs. and that -- don't take my word tor it, take the executives at general motors and chrysler some of whom are republicans, may even support governor romney. but they'll tell you his prescription wasn't going to work. and governor romney says he's got a five-point plan? governor romney doesn't have a five-point plan, he has a one-point plan. and that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. that's been his philosophy in the private sector, that's been his philosophy as governor, that's been his philosophy as a presidential candidate. you can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less. you can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. you can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions and you still make money. that's exactly the philosophy that we've seen in place for the last decade. that's what's been squeezing
middle-class families. and we have fought back for four years to get out of that mess. the last thing we need to do is to go back to the very same policies that got us there. >> crowley: mr. president, the next question will be here for you here. wid governor romney there will be plenty of chances to go on -- >> let detroit answer -- >> crowley: i will answer ask you -- >> the rest of the answer way off the mark. >> crowley: you will have lots of time here coming up because i want to move you on to something that's sort of connected to cars here and go over and we want to get a question from phillip turcola. >> your energy secretary steven which you has now been on record three times stating it's not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. do you agree with secretary which you that this is not the job of the energy department? >> the most important thing we
can do is to make sure we control our own energy. so here's what i've done since i've been president. we have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. natural gas production is the highest it's been in decades. we have seen increases in coal production and coal employment. but what i've also said is we can't just produce traditional sources of energy, we've also got to look to the future. that's why we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars. that means that in the middle of the next decade, any car you buy you're going to end up going twice as far on a gallon of gas. that's why we've doubled clean energy production like wind and solar and biofuels. and all these things have contributed to us lowering our oil imports to the lowest levels in 16 years. now, i want to build on that. and that means, yes, we still continue to open up new areas for drilling, we continue to make it a priority for us to go
after natural gas. we've got potentially 600,000 jobs and a hundred year's worth of energy right beneath our feet with natural gas. and we can do it in an environmentally sound way. but we've also got to continue to figure out how we have efficient energy, because ultimately that's how we're going to reduce demand, and that's what's going to keep gas prices lower. now, governor romney will say he's gotten a all of the above plan, but basically his plan is to let the oil companies write the energy policies. so he's got the oil and gas part but he doesn't have the clean energy part. and if we are only thinking about tomorrow or the next day and not thinking about ten years from now we're not going to control our own economic future. because china, germany, they're making these investments. and i'm not going to cede those jobs of the tpaoufper to those countries.
i expect those new energy sources to be built here in the united states. that's going to help jeremy get a job and make sure that you're not paying as much for gas. >> crowley: governor, on the subject of gas prices. >> well, let's look at the president's policies, all right? as opposed to the rhetoric. because we've had four years of policies being played out. and the president's right in terms of the additional oil production. but none of it came on federal land. as a matter of fact, oil production is down 14% this year on federal land. and gas production is down 9%. why? because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands and in federal waters. so where did the increase come from? well, a lot of it came from a range in north dakota. what was his participation there? the administration brought a criminal action against the people drilling up there for oil, this massive resource we have. and what was the cause? 25 or 20 birds were killed and they brought out a migratory
bird act to go after them on a criminal basis. look, i want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables. i believe very much in our renewable capabilities. ethanol, wind, solar. it will be an important part of our energy mix. but what we don't feed is to have the president keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal, and gas. this has not been mr. oil or mr. gas or mr. coal. talk to the people that are working in those industries. i was in coal country, people grabbed my arms and said "please, save my job." the head of the e.p.a. said you can't build a coal plant, it's virtually impossible given our regulations. when the president ran for office he said if you build a coal plant you can go ahead, but you'll go bankrupt. that's not the right course for america. let's take advantage of the energy resources we have. as well as the energy resources for the future. and if we do that, if we do what i'm planning on doing which is getting us energy independent, north america energy
independence within eight years you're going to see manufacturing jobs come back because our energy is low cost. they're already coming back because of our abundant energy. i'll get america and north america energy independent and i'll do it by more drilling, more permits and licenses. we're going to bring that pipeline in from from canada. how in the world the president said no to that pipeline i will never know. this is about bringing good jobs back for the middle-class of america and that's what i'm going to do. >> crowley: mr. president, let me see if i can move you to the gist of this questions which are we looking at the new normal? i can tell you that tomorrow morning a lot of people are going to wake up and fill up and find that the price of gas is over $4 a gallon. is it within the purview of the government to bring those prices down or are we looking at the new normal? >> candy, there's no doubt that world demand has gone up. but our production is going up. and we're using oil more efficiently. and very little of what governor romney just said is true.
we've opened up public lands. we're actually drilling more on public lands than in the previous administration. and the previous president was an oil man. and natural gas isn't just appearing magically, we're encouraging it. and working with the industry. and when i hear governor romney say he's a big coal guy, keep in mind governor when you were governor of massachusetts you stood in front of a coal plant and pointed at it and said "this plant kills." and took great pride in shutting it down. and now suddenly you're a big champion of coal. so what i've tried to do is be consistent. with respect to something like coal, we made the largest investment in clean coal technology to make sure that even as we're producing more coal, we're producing it cleaner and smarter. same thing with oil. same thing with natural gas. and the proof is our oil imports are down to the lowest levels in 20 years. oil production is up.
natural gas production is up. and, most importantly, we're also starting to build cars that are more efficient. and that's creating jobs. that means those cars can be exported because that's the demand around the world. and it also means that it will save money in your pocketbook. that's the strategy you need. an all of the above strategy, and that's what we're going to do in the next four years. >> but that's not what you've done in the last four years. that's the problem. in the last four years, you cut permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half. >> not true, governor romney. >> how much did you cut it? >> not true. >> by how much did you cut them? >> governor, we have produced more oil on -- >> how much did you cut licenses and permits on federal land and waters. >> governor romney, here's what id did. there were a whole bunch of oil companies -- >> no, i had a question. -- >> you want me to answer -- >> how much did you cut -- >> i'm happy to answer the question. >> and it is? >> here's what happened. you had a whole bunch of oil companies who had leases on public lands that they weren't using. so what we said was you can't
just sit on this for ten, 20, 30 years. decide when you want to drill, when you want to produce. when it's most profitable for you. these are public lands. so if you want to drill on public lands, you use it or you lose it. >> okay, now -- >> and so what we did was take away those leases and we are now reletting them so that we can actually make a profit. >> and production on government lands -- >> production is up. >> it's down. >> no it isn't. >> it's down 14% and production -- >> governor, what you're saying is just not true. it's just not true. >> it's absolutely true. look, there's no question that people recognize we have not produced -- >> i'll give you your time, go ahead. >> we have produced more on federal lands and -- coal production is not up. coal jobs are not up. i was at a coal facility where 1,200 people lost their jobs. the right course for america is to have a true all of the above policy. i don't think anyone really believes that you're a person who's going to be pushing for oil and gas and coal. you'll get your chance in a moment, i'm still speaking.
and the answer is i don't believe people think -- >> you're asking me a question, i'm going to answer. >> that wasn't a question, that was a statement. i don't think the american people believe that. i will fight for oil, coal, and natural gas and the proof -- the proof of whether strategy is working or not is what the price is that you're paying at the pump. if you're paying less than you paid a year or two ago, why then the strategy is working. but you're paying more. when the president took office the price of gasoline here in nassau county was $1.86 a gallon. now it's four bucks a gallon. price of electricity is up. if the president's energy policies are working, you're going to see the cost of energy come down. i will fight to create more energy in this country to get america energy secure and part of that is bringing in a pipeline of oil from canada, taking advantage of the oil and coal we have here, drilling offshore in alaska, drilling offshore in virginia where the people want it. those things will get us the energy we need. >> crowley: mr. president, could you address -- because we did finally get to gas prices here. could you address what the
governor said which is if your energy policy was working the price of gasoline would not be $4 a gallon here. is that true? >> well, think about what the governor just said. he said when i took office the price of gasoline was $1.80, $1.86. why is that? because the economy was on the verge of collapse. because we were about to go through the worst recession since the great depression. as a consequence of some of the same policies that governor romney is now promoting. so it's conceivable that governor romney could bring down gas prices because with his policies we might be back in that same mess. what i want to do is to create an economy that is strong and at the same time produce energy. and with respect to this pipeline that governor romney keeps on talking about. we've built enough pipeline to wrap around the entire earth once. so i'm all for pipelines, i'm all for oil production. what i'm not for is us ignoring
the other half of the equation. so, for example, on wind energy, when governor romney says these are imaginary jobs when you've got thousands of people right now in iowa, right now in colorado who are working, creating wind power with good paying manufacturing jobs and the republican senator in that -- in iowa is all for it, providing tax credits to help this work and governor romney says "i'm opposed, i'd get rid of it." that's not an energy strategy for the future. we need to win that future and i intend to win it as president of the united states. >> crowley: i have to move you along -- >> he actually got the first question so i get the last question. >> crowley: actually, in the follow-up it doesn't quite work like that -- >> actually. >> crowley: by i'm going to give you a chance here. i promise you i'm going to and the next question is for you so if you want to continue on -- >> candy, candy -- >> crowley: i don't want to leave these guys steuping here. >> candy, i don't have a policy of stopping wind jobs in iowa
and they're not phantom jobs, they're real jobs. i appreciate wind jobs in iowa and across our country. i appreciate the jobs in coal and oil and gas. i'm going to make sure -- >> crowley: okay, thank you, governor romney. >> taking advantage of our energy resources will bring back manufacturing to america. we're going to get through a very aggressive energy policy. three and a half million more jobs in this country. it's critical to our future. >> crowley: we're going to move you along to taxes. >> i'm used to being interrupted. >> crowley: we're going to move you along to taxes and these folks that have been waiting. governor, these questionses are for you from mary polano. >> governor romney, you have stated that if you're elected president you would plan to reduce the tax rates for all the tax brackets and that you would work with the congress to iniminate some deductions in order to make up for the loss in revenue. concerning the -- these various deductions, the mortgage deduction, the charitable
deductions, the child tax credit, and also the -- oh, what's that other credit? i forgot. >> you're doing great. >> oh, i remember. >> the education credits which are important to me because i have children in college. what would be your position on those things which are important to the middle-class? >> thank you very much. and let me tell you, you're absolutely right about part of that which is i want to bring the rates down, i want to simplify the tax code, and i want to get middle income taxpayers to have lower taxes. and the reason i want middle income taxpayers to have lower taxes is because middle-income taxpayers have been buried over the past four years you've seen middle income people in this country their incomes have gone down $4,300 a family even though gasoline prices have gone up $2,000. health insurance premiums up $2 5 *rbgs00. food prices up. utility prices up. the middle income families in
america have been crushed over the last four years so i want to get some relief to middle income families. that's part one. how about deductions? i'm going to bring rates down across the board for everybody but i'm going to limit deductions and exemptions and credits particularly for people at the high end because i am not going to have people at the high end pay less than they're paying now. the top 5% of taxpayers will continue to pay 60% of the income tax the nation collects. that will stay the same. middle income people are going to get a tax break. and so in terms of bringing down deductions, one way of doing that would be to say everybody gets -- i'll pick a number, $25,000 a deductions in credits. and you can decide which ones to use. your home mortgage interest deduction, charity, child tax credit, so forth. you could use those as part of filling that bucket, if you will, of deductions. but your rate comes down and the burden also comes down on you for one more reason. >> that is every middle income
taxpayer no longer will pay any tax on interest, dividends, or capital gains. no tax on your savings. that makes life a lot easier. if you're getting interest for from a bank, if you're get ago statement from a mutual fund or any other kind of investments you have, you don't have to worry about filing taxes on that because there will be no taxes for anybody making $200,000 a year and less on your interest .ividends and capital gains. why am i lowering taxes on the middle-class? because under the last four years they've been buried. and i want to help people in the middle-class and i will not-- i will not under any circumstances-- reduce the share being paid by the highest income taxpayers. and i will not under any circumstances increase taxes on the middle-class. the president's spending, the president's borrowing will cause this nation to have to raise taxes on the american people. not just at the high end. a recent study has shown the people in the middle-class will see $4,000 a year higher taxes
as a result of the spending and borrowing of this administration. i will not let that happen. i'll get us on track to a balanced budget and i'm going to reduce the tax burden on middle-income families. what's that going to do? it's going to help those families and create incentives to start growing jobs again in this country. >> crowley: thanks, governor. >> my philosophy on taxes has been simple and that is i want to give middle-class families and folks who are striving to get into the middle-class some relief. because they have been hit hard over the last decade. over the last 15, over the last 20 years. so four years ago i stood on a stage just like this one, it was a town hall and i said i would cut taxes for middle-class families and that's what i've nene. by $3, 600. i said i would cut taxes for small businesses, for the drivers and engines of growth. and we've cut them 18 times. i want to continue those tax cuts for middle-class families
and for small businesses. but what i've also said is if we're serious about reducing the deficit, if this is genuinely a moral obligation to the next generation then in addition to some tough spending cuts, we've also got to make sure that the wealthy do a little bit more. so what i've said is your first $250,000 worth of income, no change. and that means 98% of american families, 97% of small businesses, they will not see a tax increase. i'm ready to sign that bill right now. the only reason it's not happening is because governor romney's allies in congress have held the 98% hostage because they want tax breaks for the top 2%. but what i've also said is for above $250,000 we can go back to the tax rates we had when bill clinton was president. we created 23 million new jobs. that's part of what took us from deficits to surplus it will be
good for our economy and for job creation. now, governor romney has a different philosophy. he was on "60 minutes" just two weeks ago and he was asked is it fair for somebody like you making $20 million a year to pay a lower tax rate than a nurse or bus driver, somebody making $50,000 a year? and he said "yes, i think that's fair." he said "i think that's what grow it is economy." well, i fundamentally disagree with that. i think what grow it is economy is when you get that tax credit that we put in place for your kids going to college, i think that grow it is economy. i think what grow it is economy is when we make sure small businesses are getting a tax credit for hiring credit vance for who fought for our country, that grows our economy. so we have a different theory. and when governor romney stands here after a year of campaigning, when during a republican primary he stood on stage and said "i'm going to give tax cuts--" he didn't say
tax rate cuts, he said tax cuts to everybody including the top 1%. you should believe him. because that's been his history. and that's exactly kind of top-down economics that is not going to work if we want a strong middle-class and an economy thriving for everything. >> crowley: governor romney, i'm sure you've got a reply there. (laughter) >> you're absolutely right. you heard what i said about my tax plan. the top 5% will continue to pay 60% as they do today. i'm not looking to cut taxes for wealthy people. i am looking to cut taxes for middle income people. and why do i want to bring rates down and at the same time lower exemptions and deductions particularly for people at the high end? because if you bring rates down it makes it easier for small business to keep more of their capital and hire people. and for me this is about jobs. i want to get america's economy going again. 54% of america's workers work in businesses that are taxed as
individuals. so when you bring those rates down, those small businesses are able to keep more money and hire more people. for me i look at what's happened in the last four years and say "this has been a disappointment, we can do better than this. we don't have to settle for how many months, 43 months with unemployment above 8%? 23 million americans struggling to find a good job right now?" there are three and a half million more women living in poverty today than when the president took office. we don't have to live like this. we can get this economy going again. my five-point plan does it. energy independence for north america in five years, opening up more trade, particularly in latin america, cracking down on china when they cheat, getting us to a balanced budget, fixing our training programs for our workers and finally championing small business. i want to help small businesses grow and thrive. i know how to make that happen. i spent my life in the private sector. i know why jobs come and why they go and they're going now because of the policies of this
administration. >> crowley: governor, let me ask the president something about what you just said. the governor says that he is not going to allow the top 5%, i believe is what he said, to have a tax cut. that it will all even out, that what he wants to do is give that tax cut to the middle-class. settled? >> no, it's not settled. look, the cost of lowering rates for everybody across the board 20% along with what he also wants to do in terms of eliminating the estate tax, along with what he wants to do in terms of corporate changes in the tax code, it costs about $5 trillion. governor romney then also wants to spend $2 trillion on additional military programs even though the military's not asking for them. that's $7 trillion. he also wants to continue to bush tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. that's another trillion dollars.
that's $8 trillion. now, what he says is he's going to make sure that this doesn't add to the deficit and he's going to cut middle-class taxes. but when he's asked how are you going to do it? which deductions? which loopholes are you going to close? he can't tell you. the fact that he only has to pay 14% on his taxes when a lot of you are paying much higher, he's already taken that off the board. capital gains are going to continue to be at a low rate so we're not going to get money that way. we haven't heard from the governor any specifics beyond big bird and eliminating funding for planned parenthood in terms of how he pays for that. now, governor romney was a very successful investor. if somebody came to you, governor, with a plan that said "here, i want to spend seven or eight trillion dollars and we're going to pay for it but we can't
tell you until maybe after the election how we're going to do it." you would haven't taken such a sketchy deal. and neither should you, the american people. because the math doesn't add up. and what's at stake here is one of two things, either, candy, this blows up the deficit. because keep in mind, this is lust to pay for the additional spending that he's talking about. $7, $8 trillion. that's before we get to the deficit we already have. or alternatively it's got to be paid for not only by closing deductions for wealthy individuals, that will pay for about 4% reduction in tax rates. you're going to be paying for it. you'll lose some deductions. and you can't buy this sales pitch. nobody who's looked at it that's serious actually believes it adds up. >> crowley: mr. president, let me get the governor in on this. governor, before we get into a vast array of who says -- what study says what. if it shouldn't add up.
if somehow when you get in there there isn't enough tax revenue coming in, if somehow the numbers don't add up would you be willing to look again at a 20% -- p. well, of course they add up. i was someone who ran businesses for 25 years and balanced the budget. i ran the olympics and balanced the budget. i ran the state of massachusetts as a governor to the extent any governor does and balanced the budget all four years. when we're talking about math that doesn't add up, how about $4 trillion of deficits over the last four years? $5 trillion. that's math that doesn't add up. we have -- we -- we have a president talking about someone's plan in a way that's completely foreign to what my real plan is. and then we have his own record which is we have four consecutive years where he said when he was running for office he would cut the deficit in half. instead he's doubled it. we've gone from ten trillion
dollars of national debt to $16 trillion of national debt. if the president were reelected we'd go to almost $20 trillion of national debt. this puts us on a road to greece. i know what it takes to balance budgets. i've done it my entire life. , so for instance, when he says yours is a $5 trillion cut. well, no, it's not. because i've offsetting some of the reductions with holding down some of the deductions. >> crowley: governor, i need to have you both -- i understand the stakes here, i understand both of you. but i will get run out of town -- >> and i just described -- mr. president, i just described you precisely how i do it -- >> crowley: okay, good. >> with a single number that people can put -- and they can put their deductions and credits -- >> crowley: mr. credit, we're keeping track i promise you and the next question is for you so stay standing and it's catherine fenton who has a question for you. >> in what new ways do you intend to rectify the
inequalities in the workplace? specifically regarding females making only 72% of what their male counterparts earn? >> well, catherine, this is a great question. and i was raised by a single mom who had to put herself through school while looking after two kids. and she worked hard everyday and made a lot of sacrifices to make sure we got everything we needed. my grandmother, she started off as a secretary in a bank she never got a college education even though she was smart as a whip and she worked her way up to become a vice president at the local bank but she hit the glass ceiling. she trained people who would end up becoming her bosses during the course of her career. she didn't complain, that's not what you did in that generation. and this is one of the reasons why one of the first -- the first bill i signed was something caled the lily
ledbetter bill. and this is named after this amazing woman who had been doing the same job as a man for years, found out that she was getting paid less and the supreme court said that she couldn't bring suit because she should have found out about it earlier. she had no way of finding out about it. so we fixed that. and that's an example of the kind of advocacy that we need, because women are increasingly the breadwinners in the family. this is not just a women's issue, this is a family issue, this is a middle-class issue, and that's why we've got to fight for it. it also means that we've got to make sure that young people like yourself are able to afford a college education. earlier governor romney talked about he wants to make pell grants and other education accessible for young people. well, the truth of the matter is is that that's exactly what we've done. we've expanded pell grants for millions of people, including
millions of young women, all across the country. we did it by taking $60 billion that was going to banks and lenders as middlemen for the student loan program and we said let's just cut out the middleman. let's give the money directly to students. as a consequence we've seen millions of young people be able to afford college. and that's going to make sure that young women are going to be able to compete in that marketplace. but we've got to enforce the laws, which is what we are doing. and we've also got to make sure that in every walk of life we do not tolerate discrimination. that's been one of the hallmarks of my administration. i'm going to continue to push on this issue for the next four years. >> crowley: governor romney, pay equity for women. >> thank you, and important topic. and one which i learned a great deal about, particularly as i was serving as governor of my state. because i had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all of the applicants seemed to be men. and i went to my staff and i said "how come all the people
for these jobs are all men?" they said "well, these are the people that have the qualifications." i said "well, gosh, can't we find some women that are also qualified?" and so we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. i went to a number of women's groups and said "can you help us find folks?" and they brought us whole binders full of women. i was proud of the fact that after i staffed my cabinet and my senior staff that the university of new york in albany did a survey of all 50 states and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in america. now, one of the reasons i was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort. but, number two, because i recognized that if you're going to have women in the work force, that sometimes they need to be more flexible. my chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school. she said "i can't be here until 7:00 or 8:00 at night. i feed to get home at 5:00 so i can be there for making dinner
for my kids and being with them when they get home from school." so we said "fine, let's have a anexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you." we're going to have to have employers in the new economy, in the economy that i'm going to bring to play that are going to be so anxious to get good workers, they're going to be angst to hire women. in the last four years women have lost 580,000 jobs. that's the net of what's happened in the last four years. we're still down 580,000 jobs. i mentioned, three and a half million women-- more now in poverty than four years ago. what we can do to help young women and women of all ages is to have a strong economy so strong that employers are looking to find good employees and bringing them into their work force and adapting to a flexible work schedule that gives women the opportunities to that they would otherwise not be able to afford. this is what i've done. it's what i look forward to doing and i know what it takes to make an economy work. and i know what a working
economy looks like. and an economy with 7.8% unemployment is not a real strong economy. an economy that has 23 million people looking for work is not a strong economy. an economy with 50% of kids graduating from college that can't find a job or a college-level job, that's not what we have to have. i'm going to help women in america get good work by getting a stronger economy. and by supporting women in the work force. >> crowley: mr. president, why don't you get in on this quickly, please. >> catherine, i want to point out when that when governor romney's campaign was asked about the lily ledbetter bill, whether he supported it, he said "i'll get back to you." that's not the kind of advocacy women need in any economy. now, there's some other issues that have a bearing on how women succeed in the workplace. for example, there are health care. a major difference in this campaign is that governor romney
feels comfortable having politicians in washington decide the health care choices that women are making. i think that's a mistake. in my health care bill i said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who's insured. because this is not just a health issue, it's an economic issue for women. it makes a difference. this is money out of that family's pocket. governor romney not only opposed it, he suggested that, in fact, employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception through her insurance coverage. that's not the kind of advocacy that women need. when governor romney says that we should eliminate funding for planned parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country who rely on planned parenthood for not just contraceptive care, they rely on it for mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings.
that's a pocketbook issue for women and families all across the country. and it makes a difference in terms of how well and effectively women are able to work. when we talk about child care and the credits that we're providing, that makes a difference in terms of whether they can go out there and earn a living for their family. these are not just women's issues. these are family issues. these are economic issues. and one of the things that makes us grow as an economy is when everybody participates and women are getting the same fair deal as men are. and i've got two daughters and i want to make sure that they have the same communities that anybody's sons have. that's a part of what i'm fighting for as president of the united states. >> crowley: i want to move us along here to susan katz who has a question and, governor, it's for you. >> governor romney, i am an undecided voter because i'm
disappointed with the lack of progress i've seen in the last four years. however, i do attribute much of america's economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the bush administration. since both you and president bush are republicans i fear a return to the policies of those years should you win this election. what is the biggest difference between you and george w. bush and how do you differentiate yourself from george w. bush? >> thank you. and i appreciate that question. i just want to make sure that -- i think i was supposed to get that last answer but i want to point out that i don't believe -- >> i don't think so, candy. i want to make sure our time keepers are working here. >> crowley: the time keepers are all working and let me tell you that the last part, for the two of you to talk to one another and it isn't quite as orderly as you think. but go ahead and use this two minutes any way you'd like to.
the question is on the floor. >> i just note that i don't believe that bureaucrats in washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not. and i don't believe employers should tell someone whether they can have contraceptive care or not. every woman in america should have access to contraceptives and the president's statement of my policy is completely and totally wrong. >> governor, that's not true. >> let me come back and answer your question. president bush and i are different people. and these are different times. and that's why my five-point plan is so different than what he would have done. for instance, we can now by virtue of new technology actually get all the energy we need in north america without having to go to the arabstor venezuelans or anyone else. that wasn't true in his time. that's why my policy starts with a very robust policy to get all that energy in north america and become energy secure. number two, trade. i'll crack down on china. president bush didn't. i'm also going to dramatically expand trade in latin america. it's been growing about 12% per year over a long period of time.
i want to add more free trade agreements so we'll have more trade. number three, i'm going to get us to a balanced budget. president bush didn't. president obama was right. he said that that was outrageous to have deficits as high as half a trillion dollars under the bush years. he was right. but then he put in place deficits twice that size for every one of his four years. and his forecast for the next four years is more deficits, almost that large. so that's the next area i'm different than president bush. and then let's take the last one, championing small business. our party has been focused on big business too long. i came through small business. i understand how hard it is to start a small business. that's why everything i'll do is designed to help small businesses grow and add jobs. i want to keep their taxes down on small business. i want regulators to see their job as encouraging small enterprise, not crushing it. and the thing i find most troubling about obamacare -- well, it's a long list. but one of the things i find
most troubling is that when you go out and talk to small businesses and ask them what they think about it, they tell you it keeps them from hiring more people. my priority is jobs. i know how to make that happen. and president bush had a very different path for a very different time. my path is designed in getting small businesses to grow and hire people. >> crowley: thanks, governor. mr. president. >> well, first of all, i think it's important to tell you that we did come in during some tough times. we were losing 800,000 jobs a month when i started. but we have been digging our way out of policies that were misplaced and focused on the top doing very well and middle-class folks not doing well. and we've seen 30 consecutive -- 31 consecutive months of job growth. 5.2 million new jobs created. and the plans that i talked about will create even more. but when governor romney says
that he has a very different economic plan, the centerpiece of his economic plan are tax cuts. that's what took us from surplus to deficit. when he talks about getting tough on china, keep in mind that governor romney invested in companies that were pioneers of .utsourcing to china. and is currently investing in countries -- in companies that are building surveillance equipment for china to spy on its own folks. that's -- governor, you're the last person who's going to get tough on china. and what we've done when it comes to trade is not only sign three trade deals to open up new markets, but we've also set up a task force for trade that goes after anybody who is taking advantage of american workers or businesses and not creating a level playing field. we've brought twice as many cases against unfair trade practices than the previous administration. and we've won every single one
that's been decided. when i said that we had to make sure that china was not flooding our domestic market with cheap tires, governor romney said i was being protectionist. that it wouldn't be helpful to american workers. well, in fact, we saved a thousand jobs. and that's the kind of tough trade actions that are required. but the last point i want to make is this: there are some eyings we where governor romney is different from george bush. george bush didn't propose turning medicare into a voucher. george bush embraced comprehensive immigration reform. he didn't call for self-deportation. george bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for planned parenthood. so there are differences between governor romney and george bush. but they're not on economic policies. in some ways he's gone to a more extreme place when it comes to social policies. and i think that's a mistake.
that's not how we're going to move our economy forward. >> crowley: i want to move you both along to the next question because it's in the same wheel house so you will be able to respond. but the president does get this question and i want to call on michael jones. >> mr. president, i voted for you in 2008. what have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? i'm not that optimistic as i was in 2012. most things i need for everyday living are very expensive. >> well, we've gone through a tough four years, there's no doubt about it. but four years ago i told the american people and i told you i would cut taxes for middle-class families and i did. i told you i'd cut taxeseses for small businesses. and i have. i said that i'd end the war in iraq and i did. i said we'd refocus attention on those who actually attacked us on 9/11 and we have gone after al qaeda's leadership like never
before and osama bin laden is dead. i said that we would put in place health care reform to make sure that insurance companies can't jerk you around and if you don't have health insurance that you'd have a chance to get affordable insurance and i have. i committed that i would rein in the excesses of wall street and we passed the toughest wall street reforms since the 1930s. we've created five million jobs. gone from 800,000 jobs a month being lost and we are making progress. we saved an auto industry that was on the brink of collapse. now, does that mean you're not struggling? absolutely not. a lot of us are. and that's why the plan that i put forward for manufacturing and education and reducing our deficit in a sensible way using the savings from ending wars to rebuild america and putting people back to work, making sure that we are controlling our own energy but not just the energy of today but also the energy of the future, all those things
will make a difference. so the point is, the commitments i've made i've kept. and those that i haven't been able to keep, it's not for lack of trying and we're going to get it done in a second term. but you should pay attention to this campaign because governor romney's made some commitments as well. and i suspect he'll keep those, too. when members of the republican congress say we're going to sign a no-tax pledge so we don't ask a dime from millionaires and billionaires to reduce our deficit so we can still invest in education and helping kids go to college, he said "me, too." when they said "we're going to cut planned parenthood funding." he said "me, too." when they said "we're going to repeal obamacare, first thing i'm going to do, despite the fact that it's the same health care plan in massachusetts and is working well. he said "me, too." that is not the kind of leadership that you need. but you should expect that those
are promises he's going to keep. >> crowley: mr. president, let me let -- >> and the choice in this election is going to be whose promises are going to be more likely to help you in your life, make sure your kids can go to college, make sure you are getting a good-paying job, making sure making social security will be there for you. >> crowley: mr. president, thank you. governor? >> i think you know better. i think you know that these last four years haven't been so good as the president just described. and that you don't feel like you're confident that the next four years are going to be much better, either. i can tell you that if you're going to elect president obama, you know what you're going to get. you're going to get a repeat of the last four years. we just can't afford four more years like the last four years. he said that by now we'd have unemployment at 5.4%. the difference between where it is and 5.4% is nine million americans without work. %.wasn't the one that said 5.4%. this was the president's plan. didn't get there. he said he would have by now put
forward a plan to reform medicare and social security because he pointed out they're on the road to bankruptcy. he would reform them. he'd get that done. he hasn't even made a proposal on either one. he said in his first year he'd put out an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges. didn't even file it. this is a president who has not been able to do what he said he'd do. he said he'd cut in half the deficit. he hasn't done that, either. in fact, he doubled it. he said that by now middle-income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. it's gone up by $2,500 a year. and if obamacare is passed-- or implemented, it's already been passed, if it's implemented fully-- it will be another $2,500 on top. the middle-class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again. he keeps saying "look, i've created five million jobs."
that's after losing five million jobs. the entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country. the unemployment, the number of people who are still looking for work is still 23 million americans. there are more people in poverty. one out of six people in poverty. how about food stamps? when he took office, 32 million people were on food stamps. today 47 million people are on food stamps. how about the growth of the economy? it's growing more slowly this year than last year. and more slowly last year than the year before. the president wants to do well, i understand. but the policies he's put in place from obamacare to dodd-frank to his tax policies to his regulatory policies, these policies combined have not led this economy take off and grow like it could have. you might say, well, you gotten a example of when it worked better? yeah. in the reagan recession where unemployment hit 10.8% between that period, the end of that recession and equivalent period
of time to today ronald reagan's recovery created twice as many jobs as this president's recovery. five million jobs doesn't even keep up with our population growth. and the only reason the unemployment rate seems a little lower today is because of all the people that have dropped out of the work force. the president has tried but his policies haven't worked. he's great as a -- as a speaker and describing his plans and his vision. that's wonderful. except we have a record to look at. and that record shows he just hasn't been able to cut the deficit, to put in place reforms for medicare and social security, to preserve them, to get us the rising incomes we need. median incomes down $4,300 a family and 23 million americans out of work. that's what this election is about. it's about who can get the middle-class in this country a bright and prosperous future and assure our kids the kind of hope and optimism they deserve. >> crowley: governor, i want to move you along.
don't go away, we'll have plenty of time to respond. we are quite aware of the clock for both of you but i want to bring in a different subject here, mr. president, i'll be right back with you. lorraine osorio has a question about a topic we have not heard. this is for governor romney and we'll be right with you, mr. president. >> lorraine? >> . >> lorraine. how are you doing? president -- romney. what do you plan on doing with immigrants without the green cards that are currently living here as productive members of society. >> thank you, lorraine, did i get that right? thank you for your question. and let me step back and tell you what i'd like to do with our immigration policy broadly and include an answer to your question. first of all, this is a nation of immigrants. we welcome people coming to this country as immigrants. my dad was born in mexico of american parents. ann's dad was born in whales and is a first generation american. we welcome legal immigrants into
this country. i want our legal system to work better. i want it to be streamlined. it it to be clearer. i don't think you should have to hire a lawyer to figure out how to get into this country legally. i also think we should give visas to people, green cards, rather, to people who graduate with skills that we need. people around the world with accredited degrees in science and math, get a green card stapled to their diploma, come to the u.s. of a. we should make sure our legal system works. number two, we're going to have to stop illegal immigration. there are four million people who are waiting in line to get here legally. those who have come here illegally take their place. so i will not grant amnesty those who come here illegally. i will put in place an employment verification system and make sure employers who hire people who have come here illegally are sanctioned for doing so. i won't put in place magnets for people coming here illegally. so for instance i would not give driver's licenses to those who come here illegally as the president would. the kids of those that came here
illegally, those kids i think should have a pathway to become a permanent resident of the united states. and military service, for instance, is one way they would have that pathway to become a permanent resident. now, when the president ran for office he said that he'd put in place his n his first year a piece of legislation, he'd file a bill in his first year that would reform our immigration system. protect legal immigration, stop illegal immigration. he didn't do it. he had a democrat house, a democrat senate, supermajority in both houses. why did he fail to even promote legislation that would have provided by an answer for those that want to come here legally and for those that are here illegally today? that's a question i think the president will have a chance to answer right now. >> i look forward to it. lorraine that? lorraine. we are a nation of immigrants. i mean, we're just a few miles away from ellis island. we all understand what this
country has become because talent from all around the world wants to come here. people are willing to take risks. people who want to build on their dreams and make sure their kids have even bigger dreams than they have. but we're also a nation of laws. so what i've said is we need to fix a broken immigration system. and i've done everything that i can on my own and sought cooperation from congress to make sure we fix this system. first thing we did was to streamline the legal immigration system to reduce the backlog, make it easier, simpler and cheaper for people who are waiting in line, obeying the law to make sure they can come here and contribute to our country. and that's good for our economic growth. they'll start new businesses. they'll make things happen that ereate new jobs here in the united states. number two, we have to deal with our border so we put more bodder patrol on than any time in history and the flow of undocumented workers across the
border is actually lower than it's been in 40 years. what i've also said is if we're going to go after folks who are here illegally we should do it smartly and go after folks who are criminals. gang bangers, people who are hurting the community. not after students. not after folks who are here just because they're trying to figure out how to feed their families. and that's what we've done. and what i've also said is for young people who come here, brought here often times by their parents, have gone to school here, pledged allegiance to the flag, think of this as their country, understand themselves as americans, in every way except having papers, that we should make sure that we give them a pathway to citizenship. and that's what i've done administratively. now, governor romney just said that, you know, he wants to help those young people, too. but during the republican primary he said "i will veto the dream act that would allow these young people to have access."
his main strategy during the republican primary was to say "we're going to encourage self-deportation. making life so miserable on folks that they'll leave." he called the arizona law a model for the nation. part of the arizona law said that law enforcement officers could stop folks because they suspect that maybe they look like they might be undocumented workers and check their papers. and you know what? if my daughter or yours looks to somebody like they're not a citizen, i don't want to empower somebody like that. so we can fix this system in a comprehensive way and when governor romney says the challenge is well, obama didn't try, that's not true. i sat down with democrats and republicans at the beginning of my term and i said let's fix this system.
including senators previously who supported it on the republican side. but it's very hard for republicans in congress to support comprehensive immigration reform if their standard bearer has said that this is not something i'm interested in supporting. >> crowley: let me get the governor in here, mr. president. let's speak to, if you could, governor, the idea of self-deportation. >> no. let me go back and speak to the points that the president made and let's get them correct. i do not say that the arizona law was a model for the nation in that aspect. i said that the e-verify portion of the arizona law, which is -- which is the portion of the law this which says that employers could be able to determine whether someone is here illegally or not illegally, that that was a model for the nation. that's number one. number two, i asked the president a question, i think hispanics and immigrants all over the nation have asked it. he was asked this on univision the other day. why when you said you'd file edge legislation in your first year didn't you do it? and he didn't answer. he doesn't answer that question.
he said the standard bearer wasn't for it. i'm glad you thought i was a standard bearer four years ago, but i wasn't. four years ago you said in your first year you would file legislation. in his first year -- (laughs) i was just licking my wounds from having been beaten by john mccain. i was not the standard bearer. my view is that this president should have honored his promise to do as he said. now let me mention one other thing. self-deportation says let people make their own choice. what i was saying is we're not going to round up 12 million people, undocumented illegals and take them out of the nation. instead, let people make their own choice. and if they find they can't get the benefit here they want and they can't find the job they want then they'll make a decision to go to a place where they have better opportunities. but i'm not in favor of rounding up people and taking them out of this country. i am in favor-- as the president has said and i agree with him-- that if people commit crimes we have to get them out of this country. let me mention something else
the president said that was a moment ago and i didn't get a chance to -- when he was describing chinese investments -- >> candy, hold on a second. at some point -- >> crowley: yo. >> mr. president, i'm still speaking. >> crowley: i'm sorry -- >> let me finish >> crowley: governor romney, if you could make it short. see all these people, can you make it short? >> any investments i have over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. i understand they do include nova investments in chinese companies. mr. president, have you looked at your pension? >> i've got to say . >> mr. president, have you looked at your pension? >> i don't look at my pension, it's not as big as yours so it doesn't take as long. (laughter) >> let me give you some advice -- >> i don't check it that often. >> let me give you some advice. you have investments in chinese companies and outside the united states, you have investment there a cayman's trust. >> crowley: governor romney -- >> we're a little off topic here. i thought we were talking about
immigration. >> i came back to it >> crowley: if i could have you sit down, governor romney, thank you. >> i want to make sure we just understand something. governor romney says he wasn't referring to arizona as a model for the nation. his topped a visor on immigration is the guy who designed the arizona law. the entirety of it. not e-verify, the whole thing. that's hoz policy. it's a bad policy. it won't help us grow. look, when we think about immigration we have to understand there are folks all around the world who still see america as the land of promise. and they provide us energy and innovation and they start companies like intel and google and we want to encourage them. now we have to make sure we do it in a smart way, a comprehensive way, and we make the legal system better. when we make this into a
divisive political issue and we don't have bipartisan support. i can deliver, governor, a whole bunch of democrat to get comprehensive immigration reform done -- >> i'll get it done, first year. >> we can not see republicans serious about this issue at all. it's time for them to get serious about it. this used to be a bipartisan issue. >> crowley: don't go away. i want you to talk to carrie latka who wants to switch topic for us. >> okay, high, kerry. >> this question comes from a bring trust of my friend at global telecom supply in minute oriole la yesterday. we were sitting around talking about libya and we were reading and became aware of reports that the state department refused extra security for embassy in benghazi, libya prior to the attacks that killed four americans. who was it that denied enhanced security and why?
>> well, let me first of all talk about our diplomats because they serve all around the world. and do an incredible job in a very dangerous situation. and these aren't just representatives of the united states, they're my representatives. i send them there. often times into harm's way. i know these folks. and i know their families. so nobody's more concerned about their safety and security than i am. so as soon as we found out that the benghazi consulate was being overrun i was on the phone with my national security team and i gave them three instructions: number one, beef up our security and procedures not just in libya but in every embassy and consulate in the region. number two, investigate exactly what happened. regardless of where the facts lead us. to make sure that folks are held accountable and it doesn't happen again. and number three we are going to
find out who did this and hunt them down because one of the things i've throughout my presidency is that when folks mess with americans we go after them. now governor romney had a very different response while we were still dealing with ours being threatened governor romney put out a press release trying to make political points and that's not how a commander-in-chief operates. you don't turn national security into a political issue. certainly not right when it's happening. not everybody agrees with the decisions i've made but when it comes to national security, i mean what i say. i said i'd end the war in iraq and i did. i said we'd go after al qaeda and bin laden, we have. i said we'd transition out of afghanistan and making sure that afghans are responsible for their own security. that's what i'm doing.
when it comes to this issue, when i say we're going to find out what happened and everybody will be held accountable and i am ultimately responsible for what's taking place there because these are my folks and i'm the one who has the greet those coffins when they come home you know that i mean what i say. >> crowley: mr. president, i'm going to move us along. governor? >> thank you, kerry, for your question. it's an important one. i think the president just said correctly that the buck does stop at his desk and he takes responsibility for that -- for the failure in providing those security resources and those terrible things may well happen from time to time. i feel very deeply sympathetic for the families of those who lost loved ones. today there's a memorial service for one of those lost in this tragedy. we think of their families and care for them deeply.
there were other issues associated with this tragedy. there were many days that passed before we knew it was a spontaneous demonstration or a terrorist attack and there was no demonstration involved, it was a terrorist attack. and it took a long time for that to be told of the american people. whether there was some misleading or not, i think we need to know five days later when the ambassador to the united nations went on t.v. to to say this was a demonstration, how could we have not known? i find more troubling that on the day following the assassination of the united states ambassador, the first time that's happened since 1979 when we had four americans killed there when we didn't know what happened that the president the day after that happened flies to las vegas for a political fund-raiser and the next day to colorado for a political event. cethink these have significance.
even searle significance in that you hope that during that time we could call in the people actually eyewitnesses. we've read their accounts, this was not a demonstration. this was an attack by terrorists and this calls into question the president's whole policy in the middle east. look what's happening in syria, egypt, libya. consider the distance between ourselves and israel where the president said he was going to put daylight between us and israel. we have iran four years closer to a nuclear bomb. syria isn't just a tragedy of 30,000 civilians being killed by a military but also a strategic -- strategically significant player for america. the president's policies throughout the middle east began with an apology tour and pursue a strategy of leading behind and this is unraveling before our very eyes. >> crowley: because we're closing in, i want to still get a lot of people in and i want to ask you something, mr. president
and have the governor just quickly. your secretary of state as i'm sure you know has said she takes full responsibility for the attack on the diplomatic mission in benghazi? does the buck stop with your secretary of state? >> secretary clinton has done an extraordinary job but she works for me. i'm the president and i'm always responsible. that's why nobody's more interested in finding out exactly what happened than i e do. the day after the attack, governor, i stood in the rose garden and i told the american people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror and i also said we're going to hunt down those kpwho who committed this crime. then a few days later i was there greeting the caskets coming into andrews air force base and grieving with the
families. and the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our u.n. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor is offensive. that's not what we do. that's not what i do as president. that's not what i do as commander in chief. >> crowley: governor, if you want to reply quickly to this, please. >> i think it's interesting the president just said something which is that on the day after the attack he went in the rose garden and said this was an act of terror. you said? the rose garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. it was not a spontaneous demonstration. g. that what you're saying. >> please proceed, governor. >> i want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in benghazi an act of terror. >> get the transcript.
you cue he did, in fact, sir. so let me call it an act of terror. >> can you say that a little louder, candy? (cheers and applause) >> he did call it an act of terror. it did as well take -- it did as well take two weeks or so for their whole idea of there being a riot of this tape to come out. you're correct about that. (applause) >> the administration indicated that this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneous reaction. it took them to a long time to say it was a terrorist act by a terrorist group. am i incorrect in that regard? on sunday the answer dorr to the united nations went on the sunday television shows and spoke about how that was a spontaneous reaction -- >> i'm happy to have a longer conversation about foreign policy. >> crowley: i want to move you on. >> i want to do that -- i just want to make sure all these wonderful folks have a chance to have their questions answered.
>> crowley: what i want to do, mr. president, stand there, i want to introduce you to nina gonzalez who brought up a question that we hear a lot, both over the internet and from this crowd. >> president obama, during the democratic national convention in 2008 you stated you you wanto keep a.k.-47s out of the hands of criminals. what has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons? >> we're a nation that believes in the second amendment and i believe in the second amendment. we've got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who cant to make sure they can protect themselves. but there have been too many instances in the course of my presidency where i've had to comfort families who've lost somebody. most recently in aurora.
just a couple of weeks ago, actually, probably about a month i saw a mother who i had met at the bedside of her son who had been shot in that theater and her son had been shot through the head. and we spent some time and we said a prayer and remarkably about two months later this .oung man and his mom showed up. and he looked unbelievable. good as news. but there were a lot of families who didn't have that good fortune. and whose sons or daughters or husbands didn't survive. so my belief is that, a, we have to enforce the laws we've already got. make sure we're keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. those who are mentally ill. we've done a much better job in terms of background checks but we've got more to do when it comes to enforcement. but i also share your belief
that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. and so what i'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban roe introduced but also looking at other sources of the violence. because, frankly, in my hometown of chicago there's a lot of violence and they're not using a.k.-47s, they're using cheap handguns. so what can we do to intervene to make sure that young people have opportunity. that our schools are working. that if there's violence on the streets that working with faith groups and law enforcement we can catch it before it gets out of control. and so what i want is a comprehensive strategy. part of it is seeing if we can get automatic weapons that kill folks in amazing numbers out of the hands of criminals and the
mentally ill. but part of it is going deeper and seeing if we can get into these communities and making sure we catch violent impulses before they occur. >> crowley: governor romney, the question is about assault weapons, a.k.-47s. >> i'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. we, of course, don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons. what i believe is we have to do as the president mentioned towards the end of his remark there is which is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have. and to change the culture of violence that we have. and you ask how are we going to do that? and there are a number of things. he mentioned good schools, i agree. we were able to drive our schools to be number one in the nation if my state and i believe if we do a better job in education we'll give people the hope and opportunity they deserve and perhaps less violence from that. and let me mention another thing. that is parents. we needs moms and dads helping
raise kids. wherever possible the benefit of having two parents in the home. and that's not always possible. a lot of great single moms, single dads. but to tell our kids before they have babies they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great idea. because if there's a two-parent family the prospect in living in poverty goes down dramatically. the opportunities that the child will be able to achieve increase dramatically. so we can make changes on the way our culture works to help bring people away from violence and give them opportunity and bring them in the american system. the greatest failure we've had with regards to gun violence in some respects is what is known as fast and furious which was a program under this administration and how it worked exactly i think we don't know precisely but where thousands of automatic and a.k.-47s were give on the people that ultimately gave them to drug lords, they used those weapons
against their own citizens and killed americans with them. this was a program of the government. for what purpose it was put in place i can't imagine. but it's one of the great tragedies related to violence in our society which has occurred during this administration which i think the american people would like to understand fully. it's been investigated to a degree but the administration has -- has carried out executive privilege to prevent all the information from coming out. i'd like to understand who it was that did this. what the idea was behind it. why it led to the violence. thousands of guns going to mexican drug lords? >> crowley: governor, if i could, the question was about these assault weapons that once were banned and are no longer banned. i know that you've signed an assault weapons ban when you were in massachusetts, obviously with this question you no longer do support that. why is that given the kind of violence that we see sometimes with these mass killings? why is it that you've changed your mind? >> well, candy, actually, in my
state the progun folks and the antigun folks came together and put together a piece of legislation. and it's referred to as an assault weapon ban but it had -- at the signing of the billed the both the progun and the antigun people came together because it provided by opportunities for both that both wanted. there were hunting opportunities, for instance, that hadn't previously been available and so forth. it was so it was a mutually agreed upon piece of legislation. that's what we need more of, candy. what we have right now in washington is a place that's gridlocked. >> crowley: so if you could get people to agree to it, you'd be for it? >> candy -- >> we haven't had the leadership in washington to work on a bipartisan basis. i was able to do that in my state and bring these two together. >> crowley: quickly, mr. president. >> the -- first of all i think governor romney was for an assault weapons ban before he was against it. and he's said that the reason he changed his mind was in part because he was seeking the endorsement of the national rifle association.
so that's on the record. but i think that one area we agree on is the importance of parents and the importance of schools. because i do believe that if our young people have opportunity then they're less likely to engage in these violent acts. we're not going to eliminate everybody who is mentally disturbed and we've got to make sure they don't get weapons. but we can make a difference in terms of ensuring that every young person in america-- regardless of where they come from, what they look like-- have a chance to succeed. and candy we haven't had a chance to talk about education much. but i think it's very important to understand that the reforms we put in place working with 46 governors around the country are seeing schools schools that aref the ones that are the toughest for kids starting to succeed. we're starting to see gains in math and science. when it comes to community colleges we are setting up programs including with nassau
community college to retrain workers including young people who may have dropped out of school but are now getting another chance. training them for the jobs that exist right now. and, in fact, employers are looking for skilled workers. so we're matching them up. giving them access to higher education, as i said. we have made sure that millions of young people are able to get an education that they weren't able to get before. >> crowley: mr. president, i have to move you along here. we need to move this question here. >> one second, because this is important. this is part of the choice in this election. and when governor romney was asked whether teachers, hiring more teachers was important to growing our economy governor romney said "that doesn't grow our economy." >> crowley: the question, of course, mr. president, was guns here so i need to move us along. >> i understand. >> crowley: the question was guns -- >> but this will make a difference in terms of whether or not we can move this economy forward for these young people and reduce our violence.
>> crowley: okay, thank you so much. i want to ask carol goldberg to stand up because she gets to a question that both these men have been passionate about. it's for governor romney. >> the outsourcing of american jobs overseas has taken a toll on you are a economy. what plans do you have to put back and keep jobs here in the united states? >> boy, great question and important question because you're absolutely right. and the place where we've seen manufacturing go has been china. china's now the largest manufacturer in the world. used to be the united states of america. a lot of good people have lost jobs. a half a million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last four years. that's total over the last four years. one of the reasons for that is people think it's more attractive in some cases to go offshore than to stay here. we have made it less attractive for enterprises to stay here than to go offshore from time to time. what i will do as president is make sure it's more attractive to come to america again. this is the way we're going to create jobs in this country.
it's not trickle down government saying we're going to take more money from people, hire more government workers, raise more taxes, put in place more regulations. trickle-down government has never worked here, has never worked anywhere. i want to make america the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs. for small business. for big business to invest and grow in america. now we're going to have to make sure as we trade with other nations that they play by the rules. and china hasn't. one of the reasons -- one of the ways they don't play by the rules is artificially holding down the value of their currency. because if they put their currency down low that means their prices and goods are low and that makes them advantageous in the marketplace. we lose sales and manufacturers here in the u.s. making the same products can't compete. china has been a kurpb sphaeu nip later for years and years and years and the president has a regular opportunity to label them as a currency manipulator but refuses to do so. on day one i will label china a
currency manipulator. which will allow me as president to be able to put in place tariffs where i believe they are taking unfair advantage of our manufacturers. we are going to make sure that the people retrade with around the world play by the rules. let me not just stop there. don't forget. what's key to bringing back jobs here is not just finding someone else to punish-- and i'm going to be strict with people who we trade with to make sure they follow the law and play by the rules du but it's also to make america the most attractive place in the world for businesses of all kinds. that's why i want to bring down the tax rates of small employers, big employers. canada's tax rate on companies is now 15%. ours is 35%. so if you're starting a business, where would you rather start it? we have to be competitive if we're going to create more jobs here. regulations have quadrupled, the rate of regulations quadrupled
under this plan. i've talked to small businesses across the country. they say "we feel like we're under attack from our own government." i want to make sure regulators nge their job as encouraging small business, not crushing it. and there's no question but that obamacare has been an extraordinary deterrent to enterprises of all kinds hiring people. my priority is making sure that we get more people hired. if we have more people hired, if we get back manufacturing jobs, if we get back all kinds of jobs into this country then you're going to see rising incomes again. the reason incomes are down is because unemployment is so high. i know what it takes to get this to happen and my plan will do that and one part of it is to make sure we keep china playing by the rules. thank you. >> crowley: mr. president, two minutes here because we are then going to go to our last question. >> we need to create jobs here. and both governor romney and i agree, actually, that we should lower our corporate tax rate. it's too high.
but there's a difference in terms of how we would do it. i want to close loopholes that allow companies to deduct expenses when they move to china. that allow them to profit offshore and not have to get tax sod they have tax advantages offshore. all those changes in our tax code would make a difference. now, governor romney actually wants to expand those tax breaks. one of his big ideas when it comes to corporate tax reform would be to say "if you invest overseas you make profits overseas you don't have to pay u.s. taxes." but of course if you're a small business or a mom-and-pop business or a big business starting up here you've got to pay even the reduced rate that governor romney is talking about. and it's estimated that that will create 800,000 new jobs. the problem is, they'll be in china. or india. or germany. that's not the way we're going to create jobs here. the way we're going to create
jobs here is not just to change our tax code but also to double our exports. and we are on pace to double our exports. one of the commitments i made when i was president, that's creating tens of thousands of jobs all across the country. that's why we've kept on pushing trade deals but trade deals that make sure that american workers and american businesses are getting a good deal. now, governor romney talked about china. as i already indicated, in the private sector, governor romney's company invested in what were called pioneers of outsourcing. that's not my phrase, that's what reporters called it. and as far as currency manipulation, the currency has actually gone up 11% since i've been president because we have pushed them hard. and we put unprecedented trade pressure on china. that's why exports have significantly increased under my presidency. that's going to help to create jobs here. >> crowley: mr. president, we have a really short time for a
quick discussion here. ipad, the macs, the iphones, they are all manufactured in china. one of the major reasons is labor is so much cheaper there. how do you convince a great american company to bring that manufacturing back here? >> the answer is very straightforward. we can compete with anyone in the world as long as the playing field is level. china's been cheating over the years. one by holding down the value of their currency. number two by stealing our intellectual property, our designs, our patents, our technology. there's even an apple store in china that's a counterfeit apple store selling counterfeit goods. they hack into our computers. he will have to have people play on a fair basis. that's number one. number two, we have to make america the most attractive place for entrepreneurs, for people who want to expand a business. that's what brings jobs in. the president's characterization of our tax plan is completely -- how much time do i have? >> crowley: let me go to the president here because we are
running out of time. and the question is can we ever get -- we can't get wages like that. it can't be sustained here. >> candy, there's some jobs that are not going to come back because they're low-wage low-skill jobs. i want high-wage high-skill jobs. that's why we have to emphasize manufacturing. that's why we have to invest in advanced manufacturing. that's why we've got to make sure we've got the best science and research in the world. and when we talk about deficits, if we're adding to our deficit for tax cuts, for folks who don't need them and we're cutting investments in research and science that will create the next apple, create the next new innovation that will sell products around the world, we will lose that race if we're not training engineers to make sure that they are equipped here in this country. then companies won't come here. those investments are what's going to help to make sure that we continue to lead this world economy not just next year but ten years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now.
>> crowley: thank you mr. president. governor romney? >> government does not create jobs. government does not create jobs. >> crowley: i want to introduce you to barry green because he's going to have the last question to you. >> hi, governor. i think this is a tough question. each of you. what do you believe is the biggest misperception that the american people have about you as a man and a candidate? using specific examples, can you take this opportunity to debunk that misperception and set us straight? >> thank you. and that's an opportunity for me and i appreciate it. in the nature of a campaign it seems that some campaigns are focused on attacking a person rather than prescribing their own future and the things they'd like that do. in the course of that, i think the president's campaign has tried to characterize me as someone who's very different than who i am. i care about 100% of the american people. i want 100% of the american
people to have a bright and prosperous future. i care about our kids. i understand what it takes to make a bright and prosperous future for america again. i spent my life in the private sector, not in government. i'm a guy who wants to help with the experience i have with the american people. my passion probably flows from the fact that i believe in god. and i believe we're all children of the same god. i believe we have a responsibility to care for one another. i served as a missioner in for my church. served as a pastor in my congregation for about ten years. i sat across the table for people who were out of work and worked with them to find new work or help them through tough times. i went to the olympics when they were trouble to try to get them on track and as governor of my state i was able to get 100% of my people insured, all the kids, 8% of the adults. i was able to get schools ranked
number one in the nation so kids had a bright opportunity for a urtter future. i understand that i can get this country on track again. we don't have to settle for what we're going through. we don't have to settle for gasoline at four bucks. we don't have to settle for unemployment at a chronically high level. we don't have to settle for 47 million people on food stamps. we don't have to settle for 50% of kids coming out of college not able to get work. we don't have to settle for 23 million people struggling to find a good job. if i become president, i'll get america working again. i'll get us on track to a balanced budget. the president hasn't; i will. i'll make sure we can reform medicare and social security to preserve them for coming generations. the president said he would; he didn't. >> crowley: governor -- >> i'll get our incomes up and by the way, i've done these things. i served as a governor and showed i could get them done. >> crowley: mr. president, last two minutes belong to you. >> barry, i think a lot of this campaign and maybe over the last four years has been devoted to
this notion that i think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer. that's not what i believe. i believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world's ever known. i believe in self-reliance and individual initiative and risk takers being rewarded. but i also believe that everybody should have a fair shot. and everybody should do their fair share. and everybody should play by the same rules. because that's how our economy is growing. that's how we built the world's greatest middle-class. and that is part of what's at stake in this election. there's a fundamentally different vision about how we move move our country forward. i believe governor romney is a good man. loves his family, cares about his faith. but i also believe that when he said behind closed doors that 47% of the country considered
themselves victims who refused personal responsibility think about who he was talking about. folks on social security who worked all their lives. veterans who've sacrificed for this country. students who are out there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams but also this msuntry's dreams. soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now. people who are working hard everyday paying payroll tax, gas taxes but don't make enough income. and i want to fight for them. that's what i've been doing for the last four years because if they succeed i believe the country succeeds. when my grandfather fought in world war ii and he came back and he got a g.i. bill and that allowed him to go to college, that want a hupbd handout, that was something that advanced the entire country and i want to make sure that the next generation has those same opportunities. that's why i'm asking for your vote and that's why i'm asking
for another four years. >> crowley: president obama, governor romney, thank you for being here tonight. on that note, we have come to an end of this town hall debate. (applause) our thanks to the participates for their time and to the people of hofstra university for their hospitality. the next and final debate takes place monday night at lynn university in boca raton, florida. don't forget to watch. election day is three weeks from today. don't forget to vote. good night. >> pelley: well, we have never seen anything like that in presidential history. as the two candidates are met on stage by their wives, president obama ending a passionate summation. this will be the night that we will reflect on and believe was the night that presidential
debates were changed forever. two men sometimes toe to toe in the most rancorous presidential debate ever. each accused the other of misleading the american people. they turned every question from the audience into an attack on the other. there were no knockout blows tonight, but both candidates came out swinging at every round. at one point, governor romney cut off the president and said "you'll get your chance in a moment." at another point, the moderator, candy crowley of cnn, said to romney "governor, sit down." it was spirited and the president certainly accomplished what he failed to accomplish in the first debate. as we watch the candidates speaking to the 82 uncommitted voters who were selected to ask questions tonight, i'm joined by
john dickerson, our cbs news political director and norah o'donnell, the cohost of cbs "this morning." john? what did you make of that? >> the president had to stop his slide. he had to show democrats that he could take the case to governor romney. and when i talked to one of the democrats working for the president in ohio, the crucial swing state of ohio, i said "what do you want to hear from the president in the next debate?" he said "out sourcing, offshoring and autos." two is attacks on governor romney, the third is about rescuing the auto industry. president obama got to those in his second answer. he hit all of his talking points defining romney and then also defining how he would make things different in four years. but if the president stopped his slide, governor romney showed that the first debate wasn't a fluke. he came back hard at the president, he stood toe to toe. bickered -- in in factings at oe point it looked like they were going to come to a shoving match and crowley was going to ask them to go outside. >> pelley: you have to wonder whether the secret service was
going to get involved. norah, you said just a moment ago before we went on the air that it was something to be in this room. >> incredible to watch these two men vying for the presidency and get so close to one another not just in terms of their own physical space, challenging one another. it was incredibly tense moment here where, of course, i worry that candy crowley was going to have to actually get in between the two men. but this was not just a contrast in style but also on substance in a number of issues. and, in fact, you have to hand it to those uncommitted voters who asked the questions tonight because what an incredible wide array of topics that were discussed tonight. not only on the economy and the deficit but contraceptions, equal pay, libya, an african american voter who voted for president obama who said he's disappointed with president obama and where romney had a very strong response there. so incredible array of issues discussed here where, look, there's a reason president obama spent three days in debate prep
working from 7:30 in the morning until 10:00 at night. it's because he wanted to offer a more vigorous defense of his record than he did in the first debate. >> pelley: we have nancy cordes who is covering the president's campaign for us on our campaign 2012 team. nancy, what are you hearing? >> well, scott, i think one of the keys to the president's much stronger performance tonight and campaign officials were telling us this all week was that he was doing that debate prep 12 hours a day and it appears that he focused much more heavily on governor romney's record, his policies, his proposals, and he was much more well versed on them tonight than he was a couple of weeks ago. for instance, on coal when governor romney came out and said "i'm really in favor of much more coal production." the president shot back "well, back when you were governor of massachusetts you stood in front of a coal plant and said that you wanted to shut it down because coal kills people." on immigration when governor romney said he really identified with one key part of arizona's
tough immigration law, maybe not so much with some of the other less popular parts of it, the president shot back "well, wait a minute, the guy who is writing your immigration policy is the guy who wrote that immigration policy." and then on assault weapons the president pointed out that governor romney's position had changed. so the president had more ammunition tonight. two weeks ago in the first debate he talked a lot about his own policies. this time he was talking a lot more about governor romney's. >> pelley: after the first debate, governor romney in the eyes of most people, t winner of that first debate and certainly it was a game changer in this race, they went from essentially a dead heat to a slight lead for mr. romney. he gained a great deal of momentum. the president's mission tonight was to stop that momentum and he tried to do that with all the passion that he could muster. jan crawford is joining us now. she's covering the romney campaign for us.
january? >> well, scott, going into this debate romney's advisors said they believe it had president would come out much more aggressively, as he said he would, and he did. on the very first question on auto bailouts to the end talking about the 47% he had romney on the defensive. but romney's goal going into this debate was to focus on the president's record, what he's done over the last four years and he was most effective tonight in those exchanges, when he actually tried to prosecute and give a litany of examples of what the president said he would do four years ago and what he actually had done. he ticked through a number of them in one of the exchanges that norah mentioned when the african american voter asked the president why should he vote for him again four years later. romney's response to that basically was you shouldn't. he said he would do this on the budget, he said he would do this on taxes, he promised this on immigration, none of those things he delivered. then he proceeded to pivot and talk about how the economy was much worse and that you couldn't trust him to shepherd that four years forward.
i talked to senator rob portman tonight. he told me he played the president in the debate, he said he thought it was a game changer two weeks ago. he said tonight he didn't think it would move the needle all .hat much, scott. >> pelley: jan, thanks very much. we're going to have a look at a couple of the prize fighter moments for from this debate when cbs news coverage of the second presidential debate continues in just a moment. ]  [ laughing ] [ laughing ] [ laughing ] ♪ [ laughing ] music is a universal language.
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♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] at&t. the nation's largest 4g network. now covering 3000 more 4g cities and towns than verizon. at&t. rethink possible. university in hempstead, new york, on long island where we have just watched the most remarkable presidential debate perhaps in the history of presidential debates. both candidates spent a pwrael of time pointing the finger at each other, essentially claiming that what they were saying was simply not true. and in one of the most rancorous moments of the entire debate, the two candidates got into it with each other over their energy policies. let's have a look at that right
now. >> candy, there's no doubt that world demand's gone up. but our production is going up. and we're using oil more efficiently. and very little of what governor romney just said is true. we've opened up public lands. we're actually drilling more on public lands than in the previous administration. and the previous president was an oil man. so that we can make a profit. >> and production on government lands -- >> is up. >> is down. >> no it isn't. >> it's down 14%. >> governor, what you're saying is not true. it's just not true. >> it's absolutely true. i don't think anyone really believes that you're a person who's going to be pushing for oil and gas and coal. you'll get your chance in a moment, i'm still speaking. >> pelley: we're joined now by major garrett, correspondent with "national journal" and, major, a remarkable debate. >> absolutely, scott. and one of the things that is underlying this debate and both campaigns are very curious about, what reaction will women
voters have to what they saw tonight? we should point out, scott, and i've been helpfully remindedminn my travels covering presidential campaigns in 1992, women told us we don't care about stereotypical women's issues, we care about the entire range of issues and they were all covered in tonight's debate. but one thing i know from talking to nonaligned political strategists working in focus groups tonight watching this debate that almost universally women watching the most contested parts of the debate, where there was almost a physical and visceral physicality to the way the president and governor romney interacted with each other .urned women off. so on big issues with economy and other things the obama campaign believes they succeeded. romney campaign believes they also succeeded holding the president cottable for his record. >> pelley: major, one of the things that came up today was the killing of the u.s. ambassador in libya and three other americans on the anniversary of 9/11 last month and the president gave a passionate defense of his secretary of state and his people and policies surrounding
all of that. >> absolutely. and i think that's a very pivotal moment in this debate, the one that will be revisited substantially. i can tell you the obama campaign communicating to me from chicago thought that was a forceful moment. one that they anticipate will discourage governor romney from bringing this issue up again, political context in the rephaeupbd over this campaign. that was an enormously important opportunity for the president. they believe he succeeded and in my conversations after the debate with romney advisors they sid not bring up the governor's interaction with the president which signals they didn't believe that was a particularly impressive moment for governor romney. >> pelley: major garrett with "national journal." major, thanks very much. so what are voters who haven't settled on a candidate saying about the debate tonight? we'll have the results of an instant poll in just a moment.
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cbs news and g.f.k.'s knowledge panel put together a scientifically selected sample of about 500 of those uncommitted voters to watch the debate. and afterward we asked them what they thought. anthony mason is at the cbs broadcast center with the results. anthony? >> scott, let's go back to the first debate. as we've talked all night president obama had a lot of ground to make up. at the end of that first debate, the uncommitted voters we surveyed overwhelmingly 46% to 22% said governor romney won that debate. tid president obama turn it around tonight? it appears he did. look at this. we asked those 500 uncommitted voters immediately after the debate who did they think won? 37% said president obama, 30% said governor romney, about a third called the debate a tie in their eyes. both candidates came out pretty well in terms of answering questions. we asked the people in our survey which candidate bid the best job -- sorry, we asked them did they give direct answers to the questions. 55% said president obama did, 49% said governor romney did. here's where it gets interesting, though, is on the
issue of the economy. who won the economy tonight? well, first of all, we asked which candidate would do a better job of handling the economy. after the debate, 65% said governor romney, 34% said president obama. obama actually improved slightly from before the debate. but now things get interesting when you asked who's better for the middle-class. something that was talked about a lot tonight. when you asked who would do a better job of helping the middle-class, president obama wins here substantially, 57% to 43%. so both sides here con k claim victory for governor romney on the economy, for president obama it's on the middle-class but, again among the 500 or more uncommitted voters we surveyed after the debate tonight 37% said obama's the winner, 30% said romney was the winner and about a third called it a tie, scott. >> pelley: thanks very much, anthony. norah o'donnell, a third, a third, and a third. amazing. >> (laughs) right. look, both campaigns will claim a victory tonight that their candidate did well.
i think romney wanted to make the case, as he has -z, that obama is great at speeches but we have a record to look at. and so romney tried to lay out what obama's record has been on the economy, the 23 million americans who are still unemployed. one interesting moment that we'll talk about later was that when romney was asked about equal pay for women he talked about filling his own cabinet as governor of massachusetts. he said they couldn't find any qualified women at first so they had to go to women's groups and he said can you help us find folks and they brought us whole binders full of women. that may be an issue that needs further explanation from the governor. >> pelley: john dickerson? >> this race is tight. we've seen in the the polls nationally and the states just locked up. that that's what our own poll shows. what we saw in the polls before is that romney did better on the question of who can make more jobs, who can handle the economy. but obama won on the question of who cares about you. well, that was then mirrored again tonight.
it's like the last four months didn't happen. we've had ups and downs stuck in the middle again after this debate. >> pelley: thank you both very much. the 19th century author henry david thoreau wrote "when in some obscure country town the farmers come together to a special town meeting to express their opinion on some subject which is vexing the land, that, i think, is the true congress and the most respectable one that is ever assembled in the united states." it's been a while since hempstead, new york, was a country town, but the voters and the candidates express their opinions here tonight and this special town meeting is now adjourned. next monday in boca raton the final debate all on foreign policy there will be more campaign 2012 coverage at cbsnews.com and don't miss it first thing tomorrow on cbs "this morning" with charlie rose, norah o'donnell and gayle king. i'm scott pelley, cbs news, good night.
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